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Sense & Sensibility

So I just finished watching the last part of the 2008 Masterpiece Classic rendition of Sense and Sensibility. Of course I pretty much adore most any film version of Jane Austen's novels, and with each new movie adds new visions and ideas. It's very fun to compare your favorites and perhaps envision what it might be like if the best parts of every movie were to come together. So I shall compare the Masterpiece Classic version to Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility.

One of the things in the forefront of my mind is that Masterpiece version totally included Willoughby's drunken visit during Marianne's illness. Though it seemed a little less drunk, but of course Willoughby was none the less disheveled and ill mannered. I didn't understand why it was cut out of the Emma Thompson movie, because I felt that the scene in particular let us fully see Willoughby's disgusting nature. Sure we are previously appalled to find out about Willoughby's seduction and abandonment of Colonel Brandon's young ward, but hearing Willoughby's own words on the matter rather puts the last nail in his coffin. Also on the topic of Willoughby, this movie made him out to be more wicked than the Emma Thompson version. We get hints along the way of his sinister side, which wouldn't have been Austen's intention, as we are meant to be surprised that the charming Willoughby turns out to be a rake. This movie takes that surprise away with it's foreshadowing, but on the other hand we are treated to a scene of creative license where Colonel Brandon duels Willoughby.

The other thing that struck me in the Masterpiece version is that I find the actor who played Edward Ferrars much more handsome and endearing than Hugh Grant's Edward Ferrars. This new Edward Ferrars seems much more intelligent behind his shyness, and less so much a bumbler as Hugh Grant's Edward. In fact I would say this was a better portrayal of Edward, since just because one is shy doesn't mean they bumble about and allow themselves to be easily lead. Either way it has put Edward's character into a much more agreeable light for me, since previously he was not on my list of favorite Austen Heroes.

So now that I have compared one hero, I should also compare the two Colonel Brandons. I will say that I prefer Alan Rickman's Colonel Brandon, but mostly for shallow reasons as I found him more attractive than the other actor. I did enjoy all of the extra Colonel Brandon scenes in the new movie though. He had the added duel scene, the falconry scene, and other inconsequential bits.

In the end there are pluses and minuses to both films, but I would be happy to have both in my collection. In fact I may have to order the Masterpiece DVD soon as it also includes the new version of Persuasion, which I must say looks very tasty, and Persuasion is my second favorite Jane Austen novel behind Pride and Prejudice.

Well, I best be off to bed, I am already staying up too late and I have to go back to the salt mines bright and early in the morning. XP